Local Sports

Italy and Portugal to host Arabian horse flat racing events

Hisham Al Gizouli
Filed on September 7, 2013
Italy and Portugal to host Arabian horse flat racing events

The Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival continued its partnership with the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) to sponsor two endurance events in Italy and Portugal, Lara Sawaya, director of the Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival and Head of the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing (IFAHR) Ladies races confirmed on Friday.

Officials announcing the details of races in Abu Dhabi. — Supplied photo

“Under the directives of Shaikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, and Shaikha Fatima bint Mubarak, we are delighted to announce the sponsorship of the FEI World Endurance Championship Young Horses, Garda Endurance Cup at the Lago di Garda, Verona, Italy from September 26 to 29 and the Portuguese National Championship as well as the Portuguese Junior & Young Riders National Championship at Atoleiros, Portugal during the period from April 25 to 27, 2014,” Sawaya told newsmen at the Exhibition Centre.

“I would like to thank Princess Haya, wife of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai; in her capacity as President of the International Equestrian Federation for the great help which she has provided for our move.

“The ultimate objective of the festival is to bring together people from all over the world under one umbrella and extend the image of the Arabian horse in all disciplines, including flat races and endurance championships,” she added.

“We have recently sponsored the FEI World Endurance Championship for Junior and Youth Riders in Tarbes, France and we are here to expand our scope of coverage.

“The UAE ambassador to Portugal and his Portuguese counterpart in Abu Dhabi have been working on this project to enhance the cultural ties between the two countries. And we are extremely happy to organise such championships which will involve Arabian horses for the first time in its history,” she clarified.

The Press conference was attended by John Robertson from the FEI, Manuel Couto Miranda, Economic Counselor, Embassy of Portugal, Manar Mohammed bin Talib Al Hinai, Head of Corporate Communications, Invest AD, James Coppini from the Garda World Endurance Championship, Diego Alibeiro of Garda World Service, Salah Al Marzouki of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Rui Amente of CEI Atoleiros.

The initiative was highly valued and appreciated by the speakers from the Portuguese embassy in UAE, the FEI and the endurance races authorities in Portugal and Italy who have promised to make every attempt to ensure the success of the events. The sponsors have also thanked Shaikh Mansour and Shaikha Fatima for the generous support which will pave the way for further initiatives to enhance the already existing strong ties between the UAE and the rest of the world.

“I would like to say thank you for Shaikh Mansour and Shaikha Fatima,” said the Portuguese Economic Consular.

“Portugal has deeply rooted traditions in the hearts and minds of its people. The venue of the championships falls within the most attractive tourist destination in Portugal, and we are truly honoured to welcome the Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Racing Festival on debut in our country,” he added.

James Coppini added: “The Garda Endurance Cup will be staged around the Lago di Garda in Verona which is the largest lake in Italy and a popular holiday location in Northern Italy,” he said.

At the end of the news conference, 15 lucky persons were drawn to receive invitation from the festival to attend the championship.

The Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival is organized by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and co-ordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council in association with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR and Emirates Arabian Horse Society, supported by General Authority for Youth and Sports Welfare and Fegentri with Emirates airlines as the official carrier. Sponsors include the Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), Invest AD Arabtec Holding PJSC, Al Rashid Investment, Areej Al Ameerat, Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, Al Wathba Centre, the UAE’s General Women’s Union, the Shaikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2013, Dr. Nader Saab Switzerland, Wathba Stud Farm, Al Wathba Center, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Hotel and SPA and Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah.

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